Christmas for Sale

Film student lain McCall tells us of a film he made on the animation course at Liverpool Polytechnic.

For the last two years, I have been involved with the many aspects of single frame film making. Whilst being conscious of the traditional concepts of animation, I am acutely aware of the infinite possibilities of expression through this medium.

CHRISTMAS FOR SALE is the culmination of what I would like to call visual language studies; that is the understanding of the part that visual elements such as colour, form, line and space play when related to movement within the confines of the screen.

The study of the human being is of major interest to me. I know that animation is primarily concerned with movement, but, ultimately it is the human being, it s actions, descriptions and presence in situ¬ations that deserves a priority of serious attention. With this in mind, I am concerned with the production of films that are not merely narrative, but represent the many aspects and dilemmas of human existence.

CHRISTMAS FOR SALE was started in December 1982 and was completed in June 1983. The idea originated from my frequent visits to the city centre of Liverpool during the Christmas period. What first struck me was the apparent lack of hints of Christmas in the streets, apart from a large Christmas tree. Once, Liverpool city centre was a mass of coloured lights and decorations, but no longer. This is the reason for the lack of too many obvious hints of Christmas in my film. It also illustrates how Christmas is fast becoming just another holiday’, illustrated by the pub scenes. There is no reference in the film to religion which might seem quite strange. But if one looks at the way people celebrate Christmas now, it is quite obvious that it is not celebrated in the highly spiritual way in which it was.

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